Late-season bets can be tricky
February 27, 2019 3:00 AM
by Ramon Scott
More than ever, it seems casual sports gamblers are swearing off betting on regular season college basketball games late in the season.
That’s because the point spreads on late-season favorites often rise, leaving the seasonal bettors on the short end of another inflated line when backing more public chalk.
It’s this time of the year when the ugliest of underdogs end up getting the blue ribbon as best-in-show.
But how do we know when is the right time to know when to back a team that looks to be an obvious fade?
That’s when situational handicapping can often come into play.
Your checklist of handicapping factors this time of year should include look-ahead, travel and sandwich situations, primarily in the second half of the conference season.
And continue to pay attention to line movement. That old staple of sports betting of laying favorites early and taking ‘dogs late often holds true.
Unless buoyed by news that has changed the line, try to resist the temptation of backing a team when a more advantageous spread has already been scooped up by earlier bettors.
And don’t let your short-term results dissuade you from your college hoops betting passion. A few bad beats over the course of a season with thousands of events to choose from can only be viewed as unlucky, especially when dealing with a low volume of plays.
UNLV at Nevada: What matters here, other than the differing state of the programs, is the motivation for the Pack to achieve a blowout victory of close to 20 points. Nevada, which currently has likely fallen from a No. 4-seed, has its biggest game of the Mountain West season on deck with a trip to Utah State. Despite the focus ahead, Eric Musselman might not be able to hold his crew back. NEVADA
USC at UCLA: A sad state of affairs in Southern California as these two top 100s meet after the Trojans won the first go-round 80-67 at home behind 21 points each from Bennie Boatwright and Nick Rakocevic. Both schools are stumbling to the finish line with SC dropping five of its last eight, while the Bruins are coming off a pair of wins at home against the Oregon schools, including a big comeback against Oregon to win going away, but have losing streaks this season of four, three (twice) and two games. USC
Kentucky at Tennessee: One of the most anticipated rematches of the season in any conference after UK ended the Vols’ 19-game winning streak 86-69 back on Feb 16 behind 23 points from sophomore P.J. Washington. Tennessee then dropped an 82-80 decision in OT on Saturday at LSU, as all three teams entered the week 12-2 in SEC play.
The ‘Cats, currently headed to a likely top-four seed, will be facing a UT squad that is undefeated at home this season and are 6-10 to the under in Knoxville. UNDER
Gonzaga at St. Mary’s: Last game of the regular season for new consensus No. 1 GU, which had long wrapped up the West Coast title, which makes this likely its toughest mental challenge of the season against the Gaels, which certainly will be thinking of the 94-46 victory by the Bulldogs on Feb. 9 in Spokane. . UNDER
Michigan at Maryland: The Wolverines’ depth continues to be apparent entering these final two games on the road, including the season finale between top 10 clubs at Michigan State. Michigan won 65-52 in Ann Arbor back on Feb. 16 with a strong finish over the final 10 minutes of the game.
The Terps, who sit just outside the top 20, should return the favor defensively and should be able to even out the 16-6 turnover ratio they suffered in the first meeting. MARYLAND
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